New to BFS?

If you are new to Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS), please click here. It'll give you a little background and a starting point for browsing BFS. See you in the comments soon!

As Seen On

Forbes

Yahoo
DailyFinance

Get Rich Slowly

Free Money Finance

House Logic

Check Out My eBooks!!!

How I Make Money Blogging Managing Your Monthly Nut

Categories

Growing a Blog – Sorry, It Takes Time

A bunch of you have emailed me over the last 2-3 months asking how to grow your site as fast as humanly possible.  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to give you a super fast solution – growing a site takes time.  But here is how I accelerated Budgeting in the Fun Stuff’s growth spurt and my suggestions for newbie bloggers…

To-Do List for Growing a Blog

1.  Guest Post!!!  If your guest posts kick butt, you will draw in readers.  Plus you’ll grow your reputation with other bloggers AND get more links out there to your site for the search engines to find.  Win-Win-Win!!!

2.  Comment.  You will get a ton of new readers from comments that you leave elsewhere if they are well thought out.  It shows that you want to be part of the community.

3. Post regularly. Blogs grow faster when there is material flowing. I’d suggest a minimum of three times a week for fast growth – I post daily at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff and used to post about once a week at How I Make Money Blogging. BFS grew way faster.

4. Submit to blog carnivals. Blog carnivals are basically just lists of good posts that are hosted on a different site each week or month depending on the carnival. You can find lists of carnivals that are available by using any search engine and a few minutes per submission.  I actually outsource the submission process since it’s like $20 a month and saves me a ton of time.  Just email me if you’d like me to connect you to my guy.

5. Join a forum. You can search for forums in your niche simply by typing your main keyword followed by “forum”. For example, you may enter “dog training forum” if your blog is about training your dog.  If you’ve ever attended or are planning to attend the Financial Blogger Conference, you should check out their new forum at http://forum.finconexpo.com/.

6. Don’t be in this for the money. It’s a downer to only make 40 cents in the first couple of months. Have fun with it. If you are having fun, your readers have more fun. I look at my blogs as a solid community and the money-making as a huge bonus. I blog full time, but I always keep in mind that having my own online community to hang out with is my primary motivation to do what I do.

7. Read the very first posts on the most successful blogs in your niche. I attacked the archives of a bunch of highly successful personal finance blogs before I started just so I’d have an idea of what helped them to succeed.

8. Start a subscriber list. Whether you want to build a following to eventually suggest products, make affiliate sales, or you just want to build the largest community possible, you will want a subscriber list. I waited nearly 18 months before asking for anybody interested in extra info about me to sign up for my newsletter. That is a full 18 months that I lost out on an additional method of securing long-term readers. First, you should start with a free list setup somewhere. For example, I currently use MailChimp. Then, as your list grows, you should look into paid options like Aweber so that you can better manage your subscribers.

9.  If your blog is very localized, you can search online for companies that may be able to get your name out to the locals directly.  For example, you could use a place like the Local Direct Network if you were in Australia to send out local marketing.  You can find something like that in pretty much any country.

Within four months of starting BFS, I had solid blog rankings, closed my first six-month ad deal for $450, and I’d scored my first-ever staff-writing gig. These tips absolutely worked for me.

Did I miss anything?

Be Sociable, Share!

8 comments to Growing a Blog – Sorry, It Takes Time

  • Mel

    I will be reading and re-reading, over and over. I feel like you’re talking directly to me! LOL. I have the hardest time with posting regularly. I don’t know if it’s because I’m general (feel like I have no niche), or if it’s because I get excited about a series and then it fizzles… either way, I’ve gotta get my time management skills under control.
    Thanks Crystal!

  • Hey there. Great post :)

    May I ask where do you find advertisers that pay money upfront for an ad spot? Is there like a site for this or something?

    Thanks :)

  • I feel a lot like, Mel! You really do keep me motivated, though. I will keep charging on, like I always have! Thanks for everything, Crystal! :)

    Just keep swimming!!!

  • Am I crazy, or have blog carnivals begun to show some signs of going the way of the dinosaur? It seems like the old standards are attracting fewer and fewer hosts, that many of the newer carnivals let an awful lot of spam and double-contributions through, and that too many hosts no longer bother to let contributors know whether their submissions were accepted.

    When you can’t tell who’s hosting a carnival, you have no way of knowing whether you got in unless the host e-mails contributors, and so you have no way of linking back to the host site. I figure bloggers must have found better ways to publicize their best posts…and being a dinosaur myself, I’ve missed that particular boat.

  • Thanks Crystal. Great post.
    Do you know of any way blog management tool? Even just a spreadsheet that tracks post inventory, volume and frequency of posts published, maps out series and progress made on them, etc etc.

    I have one started to keep me on track but I thought maybe someone else had one.

    If you or anybody else is interested in it, let me know.

    Thanks.

  • Good list Crystal! Do you find that readers are more interactive with the addition of the newsletter?

  • #6 is really huge for me. I think a lot of people think that they can just start a blog and after a month they’ll be pulling in advertising and making enough money to quit their jobs. For some people that might be the case, but for most folks it takes time and patience to build up a following and make some money.

  • @Mel, a few big bloggers just post 2-3 times a month, but they make sure that those posts are all whale posts. I can’t write that many whale posts a month, so I lean towards the 3 or more regular posts a week as my method. Whatever works. :-)

    @Chris, they will come to you as you grow. When a site is tasty to one advertiser, it seems to be tasty for others too.

    @Lindsey, you too!

    @Funny About Money, you’re not crazy. The reason I outsourced by blog submissions is so that I get a list every week of the carnivals that I need to link back to. Makes it so much easier. I get 50-100 readers a week from carnivals which is why I keep participating.

    @MITM, sorry, but I don’t track all of my posts. When I want to see how stuff is trending, I just use Google Analytics and commenter feedback.

    @Jacob, sort of. My newsletter subscribers tend to be my biggest fans and they use the newsletter to remind themselves to check back on any posts that they haven’t read yet.

    @KK, so true!